Monday, February 07, 2005

Mission Roman Shades: Completed

True to my word, I finished the Roman shades!

I only learned how to use my sewing machine a week ago, so I am no sewing wizard. I am good at following directions. (I can show you my grade school report cards as proof!) I used the step-by-step instructions on creating a Roman shade found in Sewing 101. I recommend this book to the new sewer. Your library probably has a copy if you don’t want to plunk down the cash for the book.

I won’t repeat every step from the book. Instead, I thought I’d present a few highlights:

1. This project takes a long long long time. I slaved away on two shades all weekend. The most tedious and time-consuming part of the assembly is sewing the rings on the back of the shade. (The rings channel the cords used to raise and lower the shade.) Each of the two shades required 24 rings. My fabric store (Hancock Fabrics) sells rings sewn to binding, eliminating the need to sew on each ring individually. I may try those on the next shade.

2. Measure everything twice. Amazingly, I had no measuring errors. I think I measured everything four times. Given my record of drunken decorating, I abstained from alcohol for the duration of the project. I need all my faculties before cutting a swath of material that cost $50.

3. Read the directions four times. First, read them before you commit to the project. Second, read them before you buy materials. Third, read them before you cut anything. Finally, read the directions for each step immediately before attempting the step. I cannot count the number of “Aha!”s I uttered as each fresh reading brought new understanding.

4. Paper-backed, fusible web tape. I’m not sure if I like it. It didn’t “fuse” the hems well, but the problem could have been my poor technique.

5. Cat is not a good helper. When I needed to cut material, she laid on it. When I moved material, she clawed it. When banished from the room, she meowed and stuck her paws under the door. She thought that hand sewing was a fun game and chased my thread, clawing and biting me in the process. She did not think there should be plastic rings sewn to the back of the shade and attempted to remove them with her teeth. Batting my pin cushion and scissors off the table was also great fun. ARGH! If she wasn’t so darn cute….

The greatest moment of all was when I showed my completed shades to Mike. He didn’t understand how they worked, so I asked him to hold the top, and I pulled the cord. He was simply amazed when the shade raised. Oh ye of little faith!

The shades are complete, but not installed. That may or may not happen tonight. I put off a number of chores, including grocery shopping, to finish the shades and I need to catch up this evening. I will take pictures as soon as they go up, but, because I have an old-fashioned film camera, it will be awhile before they are posted.

The completed shades look very nice, but was it cost effective to make my own shades? I’m not sure. As I mentioned above, the elephant material cost about $50. I love the fabric and I probably could not have found ready-made shades that I would like as much. I had to buy quite a bit of the material because the two shades plus hems would not fit side by side on the bolt. However, as a bonus, I have material left over to make coordinating placemats. In fact Sewing 101 has directions for that project as well!

2/24/05: Roman shade pictures are posted.

7 Comments:

Blogger Brit said...

Why do people keep posting about shades to their sites? Soon I'll have to actually make some. STOP IT!! ALL OF YOU!!!

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother went on a Roman shade spree a few years back after Terrell Sunderman spoke at our sewing group - http://www.terrelldesigns.com/
When will we get to see these shades?
Jenne

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, I don't drown sims all the time...
Pixie Potter
p.s. Hi Mira!

4:04 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I am a beginning sewer, too. I LOVE it so far. It's addictive. All that delicious fabric. Mmmm.

My cats actually behave themselves while I'm sewing. They don't even bother to come in and watch! Too busy napping.

2:57 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

where did you find the rings and string? I looked at Joann Fabric but couldn't find any in Cincy.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

I got the rings at Hancock Fabrics. I recently went back there and got new string as well. (The old string was hemp cord.)

5:46 PM  

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